Returning NRI Corner

NRIs returning to India for permanent settlement can freely continue to hold assets abroad and can also hold foreign currency accounts in India.

NRIs returning home are granted the benefit of "keeping the cake and eating it too". Returning NRis can freely continue to hold overseas movable as also immovable assets, can maintain foreign currency accounts in India, can also earn tax free income in India as also abroad.

MOVABLE ASSETS ABROAD

  • An NRI returning to India for permanent settlement may hold or own foreign currency or foreign securities, provided the same were held / owned by him when he returned to India for settlement. [Section 6(4) of FEMA, 1999]
  • He may further acquire bonus shares on said securities.
  • He is also at liberty to sell such securities as and when desired.
  • A returnee NRI may also purchase foreign securities out of funds held in Resident Foreign Currency account maintained with a bank in India.
  • He can freely transfer / sell securities so acquired.

[ Regulation -4 of Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Any Foreign Security) Regulations, 2000 ]

IMMOVABLE ASSETS ABROAD

  1. NRIs returning to India for permanent settlement can continue to hold and own immovable property situated outside India provided such property was held by him when he was residing abroad. [Section 6(4)]
  2. Acquisition of new immovable property is also permissible provided the purchase price is paid out of Resident Foreign Currency account.
  3. A person who has acquired such immovable property can gift it to a relative resident in India.

For the said purpose "relative" is defined to be; husband, wife, brother, sister or any lineal ascendant or decedent of concerned individual.

Sub Regulation (1) of Regulation 5 of Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition or Transfer of Immovable Property outside India).

BANK ACCOUNT IN INDIA

Non Resident Indian can open and operate rupee as also foreign currency bank accounts in India on repatriation or non repatriation basis. FCNR account can be maintained as deposit only for a period of 12 months to 36 months whereas NRE (Rupee) account can be opened as current, savings and deposit account for a period of 12 months to 36 months. Both these accounts are fully repatriable and exempt from tax in India.

NRIs can reap the benefits of tax free repatriable interest earnings from their deposits with banks in India. Funds can be deposited in FCNR(B) account in - US$; GBP; EURO; JY or as NRE (Rupee) deposits on repatriation basis and in NRO account on non repatriation basis. NRNR and NRSR - both rupee deposits have been discontinued since 01/04/2002.

Non Resident Indians returning to India for taking up employment / permanent settlement are required to make such declaration to the bank and to redesignate their Non Resident accounts as Resident accounts or convert the same to RFC account The Rules vary for various accounts are as under :

  1. Foreign Currency Non Resident (B) - [FCNR-(B)]
  2. An NRI upon his return to India for settlement, i.e. taking up employment, carrying on business or profession or any purpose indicating intention to stay in India for uncertain period holding an FCNR(B) account
  3. can continue such deposit uptill maturity;
  4. at contracted rate of interest & other terms if he so decides.
  5. Upon maturity, returning NRI is required to :
  6. convert the FCNR(B) deposit to Resident Foreign Currency Account (RFC), or
  7. convert the FCNR(B) deposit as Resident account.
  8. [Paragraph 10 of Sch.2 of F.E.M. (Deposit) Regulations, 2000]
  1. "FCNR(B) Account" means a Foreign Currency Non-resident (Bank) account referred to in clause (ii) of sub-regulation (1) of Regulation 5 [Para 2(v) of F.E.M. (Deposit) Regulations, 2000 ]
  2. " Non Resident Indian " for the said chapter means a person of Indian origin being an Indian citizen or a foreign citizen who is residing outside India. [Para 2(vi) of F.E.M. (Deposit) Regulations, 2000 ]
  3. "Overseas Corporate Body " means a Company, Partnership Firm, Society etc. wherein 60 % or more ownership lies with NRIs or a Trust wherein 60 % or more financial interest is irrevocably held by NRIs. [Para 2(xi) of F.E.M. (Deposit) Regulations, 2000]
  4. "Person of Indian Origin" means an Indian citizen or a foreign citizen who;

FEATURES OF FCNR(B)

 


1.

ELIGIBILITY 

An NRI individual only can be a returnee NRI, and as such can continue such account uptil maturity.

2.

CURRENCY 

US Dollars, Pound Sterling, Japanese Yen and  Euro

3.

PERIOD               

12 Months to 36 Months.

4.

REPATRIABILITY      

Principal and Interest ,upon maturity  may be transferred to Resident Foreign Currency a/c. or to a resident a/c.

5.

INTEREST

Compounded  Half yearly.

6.

TYPE Of ACCOUNTS

 Fixed Deposits.

7.

LOANS

Available to account holder as well as third party resident in India.    
LOANS IN INDIA-to ACCOUNT HOLDER : For business investment in shares & securities, purchase of house property for own residential purpose and any other personal purpose. 
LOANS IN INDIA-to 3RD PARTY : For personal or business purpose.

8.

TRANSFERS -UPON RETURN TO INDIA FOR PERMANENT SETTLEMENT

Maintained as   FCNR(B) [ until maturity]  and thereafter transferable to :
- Residential Foreign Currency ( RFC)  Account or
- to be designated as  Resident  Rupee  Account.

9.

ATTORNEY

An Attorney may operate the account, but can not open RFC / Resident  account .

10.

NOMINATION

Permissible.

11.

PREMATURE WITHDRAWAL       

Permissible: - However for 
period of  less than 12 Months   -   No  Interest payable,
above 12 Months   -   Subject to Penalty - As per Bank Rules.

12.

TAXABILITY 

.01

Interest exempt from Income Tax, uptil maturity.

 

 

.02

Balance not subject to Wealth Tax.

 

 

.03

No Gift Tax provisions in India..

13.

PERMITTED CREDITS

 

Not Applicable , as maintaining the Deposit only till maturity is permissible.

14.

PERMITTED DEBITS

a)

Local disbursements .

 

 

b)

Maintained as   FCNR(B) [ until maturity]  and thereafter transferable to :
- Residential Foreign Currency ( RFC)  Account or
- to be designated as  Resident  Rupee  Account.

 

 

 

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